(14 Posts)
Kally38 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:24:32

I have posted a previous thread before but thought it would be easier to start a new one!

I have just been going over class size figures for my appeal and need some advice! The LA still won't disclose the numbers in each class but the Head Teacher of the school has told me the figures below. I don't know unfortunately the arrangement of numbers in the split year groups.

The school has a PAN of 21 in each year group but have gone over due to appeals.

Classes are as follows: Reception (21), Year 1 (25), Year 2 (22), Year 3/4 (31), Year 4/5 (26) and Year 5/6 (30)

Now the school has told me that the larger class sizes in the infants will have a knock on effect for class sizes in the juniors. I'm certain that the LA will also use this in their argument.

However, after having worked out the 'maths' re what the sizes of the junior classes would look like, I am surprised that even if I wasn't appealing for a place, the class sizes would be huge so not sure how the school / LA would deal with it anyway! Below is a rough estimate of what I think class sizes would look like when the now year 1 class of 25 starts the juniors:

• Year 3/4: 25 children from year 3
12 children from year 4

• year 4/5: 11 children from year 4
13 children from year 5

• year 5/6: 13 children from year 5
21 children from year 6

Have I totally miscalculated the sizes of the classes?? I obviously don't know the arrangement of pupils in the current junior class but don't think I would be that far off with regards the total of size of the class??

I would assume regardless of whether daughter got a place or not, the school / LA would have to put in another demountable in the playground to avoid having class over 34?

prh47bridge Mon 30-Sep-13 14:11:01

You have miscalculated. You have assumed there would be 26 in Y5. It could be as low as 21 on the figures given. You have a very small Y4/5 class (24) with two large classes (37 and 34). Even if we assume 26 in Y5 it would be easy to arrange this to have 3 classes of around 32 children which is not a problem.

Kally38 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:35:12

Thank you Prh. I am hoping that I will get the LA information through soon so I can stop guessing and start trying to work through their actual figures! I managed to find out from another source that the calculated net capacity is 150 with their lowest range being 105. So based on a PAN of 21 this would work out a net capacity of 147. I think number on roll is 155 at the moment.

Kally38 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:45:22

I have finally received the numbers from the LA re the schools organisation. It is as follows:

• Reception: 21
• Year 1: 24
• Year 2: 22
• Year 3/4: 22 year 3 and 8 year 4
• Year 4/5: 15 year 4 and 16 year 5
• Year 5/6: 6 year 5 and 21 year 6.

The LA have 4 reas

Kally38 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:50:34

Posted without finishing! The LA have summarised 4 factors which they believe would prejudice the provision at the school. This included places available at alternative school (which we were aware of), the needs of children on the SEN register, a reduced amount of teacher time for each pupil and less access to learning materials.

I think we confidently argue against the factors above but would love to hear what people's thoughts were re all the above information!

prh47bridge Thu 03-Oct-13 22:47:17

The class numbers are much as expected.

Regarding the LA's 4 factors...

Places at an alternative school do not cause prejudice to this school. It means there is an alternative but that is all. The prejudice to this school is the same regardless of whether or not there are alternatives available.

Unless they have a particularly high number of SEN pupils I don't think the needs of SEN children are particularly relevant. All schools have to cope with SEN pupils often with larger classes than this. It would be worth asking about numbers of SEN children before the hearing - you don't want to ask in the hearing and find out that half the school are on the SEN register! But if it is a fairly normal number you can ask the question in the appeal to counter the LA's argument.

Reduced amount of teacher time for each pupil is true but this school has relatively small classes throughout (only one over 30) so not a huge amount of prejudice. Similarly with the access to learning materials argument. These kind of arguments crop up regularly in admission appeals. I would simply observe that these are small classes and that many teachers have to cope with larger classes than this.

Overall I would say that the panel are likely to conclude that there will be some prejudice to the school if they have to admit another child but not a huge amount. If you have a good positive case as to why your child should be admitted you have a reasonable chance of success but it is by no means guaranteed. Good luck!

Kally38 Fri 04-Oct-13 09:32:12

Thank you Prh47bridge for your comments. The number of SEN children on the register is 15 with 1 statemented pupil. So not really a high level of SEN in the school. My daughter does not have any SEN so again would not impact on school's existing register. Both me and husband have been teachers in our previous jobs so feel confident at arguing against LA's argument about impact on planning resources etc. A teacher would normally plan for the whole class and then differentiate 3 ways according to groups (usually top, middle and lower). So not quite sure how it would impact on planning! Equally for resources, it would just mean an extra sheet or workbook. Most teachers use OHP's to deliver teaching or a whiteboard so again don't quite understand the prejudice this would cause to the school!

Many thanks for all your advice with regards my many posts. It's really been invaluable so thank you again!

Kally38 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:33:22

Another quick question for Prh47bridge or anyone if they are happy to help!

I found it very interesting that in the appeal paperwork the LA has submitted, they have not reported the admission criteria in full. They seemed to have missed out the paragraph about the priority admission criteria which relates to LA being able to go over numbers. I just think it strange that this has been missed out and was going to raise it in the appeal. I am assuming rightly or wrongly, that this was a decision which the LA has been mindful of?!

prh47bridge Fri 04-Oct-13 13:21:14

I always favour the cock up theory but it could be deliberate. Worth raising in the hearing.

It could well be a mistake on their behalf but it gives you a golden opportunity to ask some appropriate questions about the priority admission criteria, why it has been missed off the appeal document and why you have not been considered under it. A panel could conclude it was a mistake and probably will if they know that is is a feature on other appeal documents.Alternatively if it is something relative rare to this school, the panel make take a less charitable view.
A key point for the appeal is that if you look at each year group, most are over 21, so appeals are being won and I would suspect it is because there KS1 classrooms are capable of taking 30 pupils. The negative side of this is that every admission over 21 increases the numbers in the junior classes and therefore there will be a point where panel members will not admit.
It is not acceptable in my opinion for the LA to be quoting places elsewhere as a reason not to admit. The question the panel is being asked is whether this school is full not that another school is not full. The other reasons you will find on practically every school admission appeal in the country, they are just standard issues.

Kally38 Sat 05-Oct-13 12:40:18

Thank you Prh47bridge and admission for your replies. I will raise the missing admission criteria at the appeal and see what response I get back from the LA out of interest if anything!

Again thank you both for all your replies. I feel suitably confident now going into the appeal on Friday with knowing what I should be raising and questioning. I'm hoping that we will be able to put a strong case forward with regards why we think out daughter should attend that school rather than focussing on distance to her current school.

Kally38 Tue 08-Oct-13 18:14:03

I have just received the schools net capacity assessment and I was wondering whether anybody would be kind enough to go through the figures with me!

Workplaces included in capacity calculation are 210 and 97
Capacity based on classbases is 150
Basic workplace Allowance is 75
Maximum workplaces available is 150
Minimum workplaces available is 105
Capacity based on planned admission is 147
Net capacity is 147

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

prh47bridge Tue 08-Oct-13 18:47:53

You can ignore most of those figures. The important ones are maximum and minimum workplaces and net capacity. This tells us that they have set net capacity near the top of the calculated range. If they had set net capacity near the bottom of the calculated range you could have used that as evidence that they could handle more pupils. As it is I would stay away from the capacity figures and concentrate on the fact that they are over PAN in other year. You should argue that this shows they are able to handle more pupils than PAN.

Kally38 Tue 08-Oct-13 19:56:29